Amazon gave its music lovers something of an early holiday gift last year in the form of two new Alexa voice features — “Local Popularity” and “Play More Like This” for its users. Both are intended to improve the listening experience and help folks discover new music on their Echo devices. Now, Amazon Music is looking to up the ante once again. The latest new feature to join the Amazon feature is the ability to play recently heard songs, so if you can’t remember what Rihanna tune you were listening to while ago (but know you loved it), just say, “Alexa, play me the Rihanna song I was listening to last week.”
With this latest functionality, music lovers can use natural language commands to easily go back to old favorites. You can say things like, “Alexa, play me the Maren Morris song I heard last month,” or “Alexa, play me hip-hop music I was listening to three weeks ago,” or even, “Alexa, play music that I was listening to earlier today.” And if you’re just feeling generally nostalgic, you can tell Alexa to play you something you haven’t heard in awhile.
As for other recently added features, there is Local Popularity, which as its name suggests, will help folks determine what music is popular in various locations throughout the world. Whether you’re preparing for a winter trip to Miami and want to be listening to the same grooves as the Floridians, or are missing home back in London and want to find a way to be there spiritually (which is to say, musically), Alexa can help. Simply tell Alexa to play the most popular music in any given location. Music lovers can request music from cities and countries the world over and, just maybe, learn a tune or musician or two they might not have known before.
You can ask for “top” and “popular” songs, or simply ask for the “hits.” Alexa is said to play a different song every day depending on what local listeners are playing most often. So whether you tell your favorite smart assistant, “Alexa, play what’s hot in Nashville,” or “Alexa, play the hits in Tokyo,” you’ll have a playlist ready.
There is also the relatively new Play More Like This feature, which seems somewhat similar to Pandora’s perennially popular Music Genome project. This new tool allows listeners to “adjust their play queue in real time to discover new songs, like asking for music by a specific era or mood.” To access the feature while already listening to music, you’ll need to say, “Alexa, play more like this.” Alternatively, if you’re just sitting down and need some music to accompany your study session, you can say, “Alexa, play music like Frank Ocean.” You can also specify by song or artist and era.
So if you’re looking to make the most out of your music listening experience, Alexa may be able to help.
Updated on March 8: Added Amazon Music’s new recently heard feature for Alexa.